Arnold Palmer is gone, but he will "never pass from the game," Lee Trevino said when reached by phone Sunday night just hours after news of Palmer’s death.
"We will always close our eyes and see him and his charismatic style and the impact he had on golf," Trevino said. "It didn’t matter if you were white collar, blue collar, no collar, Arnold Palmer was your man. He was somebody who reached out to you, from the Queen to the commoners. He was the Mother Teresa of golf. He was loved by everybody and that’s never easy."
While their primes didn’t overlap, Trevino and Palmer became friends on and off the course, united by similarly sunny personalities that had broad appeal among golf fans.
Trevino recalled the last time Palmer paid him a visit at the Greenbrier in West Virginia, where Trevino serves as honorary professional and spends much of his summers.
"He looked all of his years then and couldn’t walk much, so he was in a cart being driven around,” Trevino said. “He still found time to be kind to me, to be kind to everybody at the Greenbrier. That was the kind of person he was. He treated everybody the same, which was always kind and gracious."
Tevino called Palmer’s death "one of the biggest losses in golf history."
"We’ve lost Byron and Ben and so many others, but losing Arnold Palmer is staggering," Trevino said. "I sort of feel like Scots did in the 1800s, when they lost Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris. You simply cannot replace him."